Lighting growth Featured

8:00pm EDT June 25, 2007

Larry Powers is always on a quest for a new challenge or opportunity.

In 1979, as president of a small company, he turned the business around, which led to an acquisition by Bairnco in 1983, which created Genlyte Group Inc. in 1984.

Genlyte struggled initially and amassed high debt while going through five presidents until Powers was appointed president in 1993.

Upon his appointment, he first met with the board of directors to create a turnaround plan for the lighting company. He organized the company into decentralized business units and gave each division manager complete authority and responsibility for that division, all the way down to the profits and losses. Each manager was also charged with new product development and driving those products into their appropriate niches in the marketplace. This approach has created a very entrepreneurial culture within the company.

Powers focuses the group’s growth on expansion and acquisitions. Last year, it introduced more than 20,000 new products in more than 380 new product families. It also released 80 new customer catalogs and brochures.

As a result of Powers’ efforts, Genlyte has been handsomely rewarded in the marketplace. As chairman and CEO, he has doubled Genlyte’s revenue. The company has also made Forbes magazine’s Platinum 400 list of the best big companies for the past five years. Additionally, the magazine named Genlyte the best-managed company in the capital goods industry category last year.

HOW TO REACH: Genlyte Group Inc., (502) 420-9501 or